Hey Bibliovore! Where ya been?
Setting up my apartment, buying furniture, starting my new job . . .
Is that all? Pffft. How lame.
I know, but to make it up to you, I will give you . . . a book review! Tralaaaa!
Really? Wow! Hey . . . wait a minute . . .
Book: The Last Apprentice - Revenge of the Witch
Author: Joseph Delaney
Born the seventh son of a seventh son, Tom never knew that was important until he was apprenticed to a spook. Spooks hunt ghosts, fight witches, and generally deal with all the other supernatural messes that normal people would rather not think about. It’s a lonely, difficult life, but almost against his will, Tom realizes he has a knack for it. But a knack isn’t enough. The spook's prior apprentice, Billy Bones, had a knack, too, and he’s currently six feet under, along with an unsettling number of the spook's previous apprentices. And now that Tom’s accidentally unleashed a witch who’s been chained up for thirteen years, he’s going to need a lot more than a knack to ensure that he doesn’t end up next to Billy Bones.
Like Peeps, this creepalicious novel isn’t for the faint of stomach. Any novel that features violent death, zombie witches, and cakes baked with blood isn’t for the delicate type. But there’s a dark lure to the story, drawing the reader through Tom’s well-intentioned screwups and struggle to right them, and the moral murk that means no decision is easy.
Alice, Tom’s sometime ally and the granddaughter of the abovenoted witch, could and probably should have been fleshed out a little more, because instead of being sympathetic to her torn loyalties, I just got annoyed. But that’s a small nitpick in a gorily fun time. This is a great novel for those fans of fantasy who like a healthy dose of horror mixed in. Amazon indicates that the second novel in the series is coming in September. I'll be interested to see where Joseph Delaney takes Tom from here.
P.S. Okay, Amazon also seems to indicate that in 2004 Delaney published a book called the Spook's Apprentice, which sounds quite a bit like this one. Hmmm . . . odd! Is Revenge of the Witch rewritten, or just repackaged? If you know the answer to this conundrum, leave it in the comments.